- 58 percent indicated that they will spend more on safety programs and related products in 2009. Last year, more than 41 percent spent more than $40,000 in the category.
- Conversely, 71 percent of respondents said that they will not invest as much this year on automation equipment as they did in 2008. Last year, 46 percent spent between $40,000 and $100,000 in this category.
- Looking at overall capital equipment expenditures, 26 percent of respondents said that they spent more than $750,000 last year, but 52 percent said that they will spend less in 2009 due to economic conditions.
In addressing energy costs:
- 39 percent said that energy conservation initiatives have offset price hikes in keeping costs even.
- 22 percent said that costs are down due to internal energy conservation practices and lower oil prices.
- The remainder indicated that they continue to deal with rising energy costs.
- 79 percent have started to do simpler things like shutting off lights, and relying less prominently on heating and air-conditioning services to help control costs.
- 64 percent cited machinery overhauls and increasing preventive maintenance practices as a way to reduce the amount of energy needed to power their older equipment.
- 50 percent also added instrumentation that allows for better equipment monitoring and control in maximizing energy usage.
- 47 percent have implemented new, more efficient lighting products.
- 36 percent said that they have purchased new, more efficient equipment.
- 41 percent identified facility improvements.
- The remaining were split between improved usage patterns and individual equipment upgrades.
- The feedstocks that they are most familiar with, in order of precedence, are plant by-products, biomass and agricultural by-products.
- Far and away, the most prominently used of the newer feedstock types is plant by-products.
- The feedstock that respondents feel has the most promise moving forward is, again, plant by-products.
- The biggest obstacle readers see with the integration of these non-fossil fuel sources are the associated new equipment costs.
- The most important software functionality cited was inventory management (31 percent), followed by remote equipment monitoring (27 percent).
- The greatest realized gains from software investments were operational efficiencies (38 percent) and quality control (21 percent).
- Looking ahead, respondents' greatest needs are simulation capabilities and inventory management.
Content Item Type:
Although this encompasses a range of facilities with varying plants, respondents seem to be unified in taking a less severe, yet cautious attitude when looking ahead to 2009 purchases.